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Old 08.09.2011, 18:40
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

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Or could it be just a coping mechanism in response to dealing with so much stress due to moving to another country? I can't really chalk it up to age, given that I'm 22 years old...

All I know is that I feel as if I have definitely lost a few IQ points, and met a few others who claimed they feel the same.
Honestly: I can rule out that it is some sort of coping mechanism: Last week I left Switzerland for a much more stressy Asian country - far more "foreign" influences, noise and general chaos in my life. And yet do I feel quite the opposite - I feel that I am not down at all but getting faster. Must be the food then. Probably the lack of antibiotics and steroids in the Swiss meat.
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Old 08.09.2011, 23:34
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

I feel sleepy all the time and my skin is dull ever since I came to Lausanne. Now I am back in my home country for late summer holidays and I feel so much more energetic and fresh!
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Old 09.09.2011, 00:49
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

yes it's different here...................
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  #44  
Old 09.09.2011, 00:54
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

Perhaps a way around this is buying one of those in-house oxygen "tents" like Michael Jackson had?

Work high during the day, sleep low at night. The best method for acclimatising
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Old 09.09.2011, 08:03
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

I'm sorry that I don't have time to read your whole thread, but you should check out the possibility that you might have celiac disease (gluten intolerance). There is a test available at the coop, that you can do at home, but it has a 20% fail to diagnose rate, but it's a start.

I mention this for two reasons:

1 because headaches and "brain fog" are both symptoms.

2 the way the swiss import and re-package food actually leads to a much more contaminated food-chain here than most countries. I have met three people who only "developed" celiac symptoms after moving here, even in late adulthood. My disease got much harder to manage for a period, while I figured out all the foods that should be safe, that were now making me very ill.

Good luck! I'm happy to answer any questions.
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  #46  
Old 09.09.2011, 09:12
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

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It is an ailment I believe they call "going native". It impairs your ability to question, disseminate and negotiate. Strangely, your abilities to discriminate are actually enhanced.

AYB
As they say on Star Trek... "We are the Borg (or Swiss). Existence, as you know it, is over. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Resistance is futile."
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  #47  
Old 09.09.2011, 09:46
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

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I'm sorry that I don't have time to read your whole thread, but you should check out the possibility that you might have celiac disease (gluten intolerance). There is a test available at the coop, that you can do at home, but it has a 20% fail to diagnose rate, but it's a start.
Interesting as I've been suspecting I might be sensitive to gluten lately. Where in the COOP can you find these tests?
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  #48  
Old 09.09.2011, 11:17
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

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I'm sorry that I don't have time to read your whole thread, but you should check out the possibility that you might have celiac disease (gluten intolerance). There is a test available at the coop, that you can do at home, but it has a 20% fail to diagnose rate, but it's a start.

I mention this for two reasons:

1 because headaches and "brain fog" are both symptoms.

2 the way the swiss import and re-package food actually leads to a much more contaminated food-chain here than most countries. I have met three people who only "developed" celiac symptoms after moving here, even in late adulthood. My disease got much harder to manage for a period, while I figured out all the foods that should be safe, that were now making me very ill.

Good luck! I'm happy to answer any questions.

I will definitely look into that, thanks!

I can rule out allergies like many of you suggested because I have felt this way consistently for a whole year now, summer, winter, etc...unless I'm just allergic to Switzerland in general
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Old 09.09.2011, 11:30
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

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I'm sorry that I don't have time to read your whole thread, but you should check out the possibility that you might have celiac disease (gluten intolerance). There is a test available at the coop, that you can do at home, but it has a 20% fail to diagnose rate, but it's a start.

I mention this for two reasons:

1 because headaches and "brain fog" are both symptoms.

2 the way the swiss import and re-package food actually leads to a much more contaminated food-chain here than most countries. I have met three people who only "developed" celiac symptoms after moving here, even in late adulthood. My disease got much harder to manage for a period, while I figured out all the foods that should be safe, that were now making me very ill.

Good luck! I'm happy to answer any questions.
that was interesting. I did some additional research, and found that this disease causes weight loss. Since I'm not really eating all that much and I'm not losing weight at all (it's so unfair) then I must not have this gluten intollerance of which you speak.
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Old 09.09.2011, 11:38
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

Pick up at the Zurich Airport

:)
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  #51  
Old 09.09.2011, 11:53
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

That's interesting that you mention Celiac Disease. I've been close to 11 years in CH and was just diagnosed with CD a year ago. Eating gluten (& gliadin) free (at least by the labels on the packaging) has indeed gotten rid of most of my brain fog, but I still find I sometimes get headaches and have difficulty concentrating.

I'm still not sure what the causes or best solutions are, but I'm pretty convinced that the following are essential for managing headaches: drinking enough water, getting enough exercise, avoiding/minimizing refined/processed foods, getting enough raw fruits (natural sugar sources from whole foods), and getting healthy fats & oils (such as from avocado, nuts, olive oil), but identifying/avoiding food allergens (which unfortunately can mean some kinds of fruits, veggies, nuts, seafood, etc.).

In addition, for CD, to keep the mucosal lining (Schleimhaut) healthy, I am convinced that extra attention to diet and potential allergens, linseed/flaxseed oil (Leinöl), fish oil (to reduce inflammation), and at least temporarily to boost the immune system, vitamin D in a high dosage (5000 IU/day) as well as more generally a good multivitamin are very beneficial to restoring gut & overall health.

(A note about the vitamin D supplementation: I have noticed that, since taking the high dosage, I get sick much much less, and less severely, never needing antibiotics anymore. Vitamin D also helps increase bone density. However, it may not be a good long term solution for bone and immune health. I suspect that the best long-term solution for good immune and bone health is regular movement/exercise, which causes the bone marrow to secrete substances that slowly build/maintain these functions.)

Additionally, I suspect that raw, unrefined coconut oil and a mix of different oils such as rapseed, grapeseed, and pumpkin seed for example also help, but I'm not really sure about this yet. I also want to try having green smoothies regularly and see if I notice a difference. I also suspect that a good probiotics/greens supplement can help maintain gut (& immune) health, especially if these have to be regained, but am not yet 100% sure that I will need them forever.

I think there is a lot of potential to discover natural methods for optimizing one's health, especially through diet and lifestyle changes, but it requires patience, open-mindedness and some research to see what to try and what to look out for.

One final note about headaches. A lot of Swiss people report being very sensitive to weather changes, particularly changes in pressure/temperature and foremost to a wind from the south which they call "Fern". Other things to check for headaches are your vision, and what you look at all day, and perhaps possibly as a last resort to go to an endocrinologist and check your hormone balance.

Before being diagnosed with CD, I was diagnosed with Chronic Sinusitis. This also affects headaches and there are other remedies for this (e.g. saline nasal irrigation, Sinupret forte, keeping the mucosal lining healthy as above), but I believe at least in my case, that CD and related factors like food allergies were the causes of my sinusitis.

For me, discovering what works to optimize my health has been an ongoing quest and adventure, and one definite benefit of being in Switzerland (with the supplemental health insurance or Zusatzversicherung) is the ability to choose any type of doctor and find what works for you. I would recommend a good naturopathic doctor (e.g. The Paracelsus clinic) to anybody who is open-minded, since one of their doctors recommended much of the above to me, i.e. that I avoid gluten and common allergenic foods, etc., a full year before I finally found out I had CD. However, I didn't realize that oats (Hafer) contain either gluten, or high levels of gliadins which are similar enough to gluten, and so eventually I had to discover through conventional medicine (and self experimentation) the wisdom of these recommendations.

In any case, the optimal solution for each person is probably going to be highly individual, and the path to finding it a matter of personal opinion & predilection.
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Old 09.09.2011, 12:14
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

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that was interesting. I did some additional research, and found that this disease causes weight loss. Since I'm not really eating all that much and I'm not losing weight at all (it's so unfair) then I must not have this gluten intollerance of which you speak.
Not all people with gluten intolerance are coeliacs. I can't eat gluten, and weight loss is merely a fond memory from my dance-all-night-at-the-Hacienda days.

Life just isn't fair, is it?
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  #53  
Old 09.09.2011, 13:22
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

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that was interesting. I did some additional research, and found that this disease causes weight loss. Since I'm not really eating all that much and I'm not losing weight at all (it's so unfair) then I must not have this gluten intollerance of which you speak.
There are a lot of myths about celiac disease out there, one of which is that it will necesarily make you thin. I was over 40kg overweight, and it turns out that that weight gain was caused primarily by the ways my celiac disease was effecting my thyroid and reproductive hormones. In the 2.5 years since I was finally diagnosed (at 29 years old, a self identified "healthy person") I have lost 30 kgs, and the last 10 is rapidly dwindling, despite the fact that I eat more calories now by about 500/day.
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Old 09.09.2011, 13:35
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

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Not all people with gluten intolerance are coeliacs. I can't eat gluten, and weight loss is merely a fond memory from my dance-all-night-at-the-Hacienda days.

Life just isn't fair, is it?
This is too true! That not all people with gluten intolerance are celiacs, or that they even have the same symptoms.

One of the reasons that the blood-antibody test sucks is that at least 20% of celiacs don't have a kind of immune system that produces IgA antibodies at all (I don't).

Gluten intolerance arose independently in different communities around the globe, and because it impacts immune systems primarily, it varies a lot depending on your ethnic heritage.

I have been told by doctors that I am "the most sensitive celiac they have ever seen." And they think it may be because I actually inherited it from both my mother's family line, which is flemish/dutch, and my father's, who are slovenian.

I can not eat food that has been open in the same building as wheat. Almost nothing packaged by coop did not eventually make me ill. I have not tried a lot at Migros, instead I import sugar from the U.S, because Dominoes sugar company bags only sugar at their buildings. I use Pons spanish olive oil, and the slow food sea salt from italy at coop, and everything else I eat is fresh produce, meat, dairy, or milk.

I have found that my sensitivity threshold has decreased over time, every 4-6s months of healing I would start having migraines, joint pain, problems sleeping, and "stomach flu" that was almost always only diarrhea (gross, but there you have it). Then I would find 5-6 things in my diet that were making me sick (the next rung of most contaminated foods.)

I would then get healthy again, heal for 4-6 months, and the cycle would repeat.

The first cycle it was my birth control pills, other otc medicines, lipstick, and a few beauty products.

The second cycle it was all "gluten free grains" that have some degree of field contamination, Carefully sourced rice and tapioca products remain ok, but only if they come through safe production.

Then it was the coop nuts, cheeses, processed meats, and the italian olive oil i used.

Finally, the coop milk, almost all spices. I was beginning to think I was crazy, and that maybe celiac wasn't even my problem when I took the final step and eliminated these things. Then I spent a week in France, got some less contaminated food, and finally found the last few problem items.

I have also had great success in the netherlands, with the albert heijn products that are marked as gluten free with the little crossed out wheat-shaft. My dutch friends say they process all of those things in a separate facility.

I have been healthy and migraine free for just over 6 months now. Like I said, I've lost 30 something kg. Was a U.S. size 28 now a U.S. 12 and still healing.

I was, I suspect, an extreme case, as I was very very sick before I got diagnosed. But I think that this thing I experienced, where I got a little more sensitive as I got a little more healthy, is something that other people go through that's not talked about a lot.

It might take me a day or two to get back here, as I'm mad busy right now, but I'd be happy to continue this conversation. Also, sorry I haven't read everyone's comments yet- I'll try soon. I'm not much of a BB person.
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Old 09.09.2011, 13:59
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

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Interesting as I've been suspecting I might be sensitive to gluten lately. Where in the COOP can you find these tests?
At the Meierhofplatz Coop they are in the toiletries/pharmacy section, below the condoms and above the contact lens solution. It's a mid-size coop, so I bet a lot will have it. It's a box, that is I think, mostly brown with green? lettering.

Be aware that the false negative rate is high, but there is not a false positive problem.
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Old 09.09.2011, 14:11
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

Another one here....I've ended up having iron infusions directly into the blood stream to help with the exhaustion. I have never visited a free NHS doctor as much, apart from childbirth, so it makes my teeth itch to pay for one now!

For 7/8 days a month I have a headache that can only be described as "having a knitting needle poked through one's eye", I can sleep from 9pm to 7am easily, I feel in a constant fug, I can't concentrate on emails, TV, haven't read a book in a year (I'd read 5-7 a week on my commute and before bed), can't even concentrate on a magazine article (rather scary when I then try and plan 115 million euro sales in the business).

I watch everyone "nordic walking" past my window at 80 years plus, and I can barely get off the sofa at the weekends, have gained 2 stone in weight.

I did more in one afternoon in Brighton last weekend than a week at home here!

I thought it was reaching 40, and the slippery slope but perhaps it's not!

Maybe it's down to your cave person genetic make up, are you a fish eating coastal mitherer, or a goathoof chewing mountain apeman.....?
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Old 11.09.2011, 15:37
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

A former colleague once told me the story of how smoking saved her and her dad's life. Her family were all at home one Sunday when the dad popped out to buy some cigarettes. he returned to find the whole family collapsed with carbon monoxide poisoning from the gas fire.

Something to check out perhaps
"Exposure to carbon monoxide is most commonly accompanied by the following symptoms"
  • Nausea
  • Flu-like symptoms, fatigue
  • Shortness of breath on exertion
  • Impaired judgment.........
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Old 11.09.2011, 16:37
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

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I will definitely look into that, thanks!

I can rule out allergies like many of you suggested because I have felt this way consistently for a whole year now, summer, winter, etc...unless I'm just allergic to Switzerland in general
Allergies don't always occur in Spring and summer only. I come from a country with much less greenery/trees/flowers. Here, especially when it hasn't rained for a while, I feel awful because of allergies, whatever the season. When there is snow on the ground or it has just rained, I get a little break. In my case, getting a humidifier has worked wonders. I switch it on during the night and I can breathe and rest and not wake up with a cake up my nostril and a headache. I still struggle during the day.

Re: headaches. I spoke to my doctor a few days after getting a horrible migraine and she told me that many other women had called that day to tell her about the same issue or to cancel appointments. She told me that this had happened when air pressure changed, so she reckoned it is connected.
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Old 11.09.2011, 16:59
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Re: Anybody else feeling ''slow'' since moving here?

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A former colleague once told me the story of how smoking saved her and her dad's life. Her family were all at home one Sunday when the dad popped out to buy some cigarettes. he returned to find the whole family collapsed with carbon monoxide poisoning from the gas fire.

Something to check out perhaps
"Exposure to carbon monoxide is most commonly accompanied by the following symptoms"

Headache
Dizziness
Nausea
Flu-like symptoms, fatigue
Shortness of breath on exertion
Impaired judgment.........
Interesting story, but a very, very rare incident. And please don't make the very frequent mistake of reading a list of symptoms on the Internet and then saying, "Yeah, that's exactly what I have!" These days, those self-diagnosed Google patients waste a lot of their doctors' time.

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Allergies don't always occur in Spring and summer only. I come from a country with much less greenery/trees/flowers. Here, especially when it hasn't rained for a while, I feel awful because of allergies, whatever the season. When there is snow on the ground or it has just rained, I get a little break. In my case, getting a humidifier has worked wonders. I switch it on during the night and I can breathe and rest and not wake up with a cake up my nostril and a headache. I still struggle during the day.

Re: headaches. I spoke to my doctor a few days after getting a horrible migraine and she told me that many other women had called that day to tell her about the same issue or to cancel appointments. She told me that this had happened when air pressure changed, so she reckoned it is connected.
There are many other environmental allergies besides pollen and the like, for instance mold spores, dust mite poop, animal hair, wood preservatives inside buildings etc.. Most of them can occur any time of the year.

As already mentioned, sensitivity to air pressure shifts may be a sign of a sinusitis. Especially frontal headache may be caused by a frontal sinusitis, whereas toothache (even in missing teeth!!), ear pain, dizziness, humming ear noise etc. may be caused by a maxillary sinusitis. The sinusitis in turn may be caused either by an allergy or by an infection. There are even more paranasal sinuses with a whole lot of other possible symptoms.
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